Gracie, Baby Grey’s dearest buddy, went away a year ago, yet the cat regularly comes up for their scheduled playdates.
Baby Grey will stroll into the yard and stand at the sliding door like clockwork, presumably hoping that her pal will come racing to meet her there. She waits there for 20 minutes at a time, sometimes longer.
Shea Belew Brennaman, a fourth-grade teacher in Decatur, Alabama, observed the unusual cat visiting her yard for the first time two and a half years ago. Brennaman told The Dodo, “I suppose it lives two cul-de-sacs over from us and I don’t know its name.” “My family and I just call it Baby Grey.”
Baby Grey was met by Gracie, a guard dog who was more interested in making friends than frightening off intruders when she first climbed into Brennaman’s fenced-in backyard.
“Gracie was an American Eskimo who spent practically all of her time outside,” Brennaman explained. “She adored nature and, while she was our house’s defender, she adored all other animals, who adored her.”
Gracie was friendly with everyone on her land, from the chipmunks and bunnies to the hawks, and she was curious about the newcomer.
“Gracie welcomed her right into our yard,” Brennaman added, “and the two became close friends.”
Baby Grey’s visits got increasingly frequent over time. When her cat companion came around, Gracie was always a gracious host, and it appeared the two creatures had found a kindred spirit in one other.
“We’d leave Gracie tomatoes on our porch because they were her favorite treat,” Brennaman recalled, “and she’d share them with the cat, which was a big deal since Gracie wasn’t big on sharing food.”
“When Baby Grey started coming around more regularly, they shared tomatoes and sunbathing together,” she explained. “Sunbathing was by far their favorite pastime.”
While Brennaman admired the dogs’ intimate bond, it appeared to be in line with the dog’s disposition. Gracie would go to great lengths for her friends and family, including rescuing Brennaman from a water moccasin assault when she was only an 8-month-old puppy.
Brennaman observed, “She had a nice personality.” “[She] was a friend to everybody and a wonderful mother to our Yorkie.”
Brennaman first observed Gracie’s slowing down in late October 2017, shortly after her 12th birthday. Gracie had severe lymphoma, which was discovered after a trip to the veterinarian and multiple tests and X-rays.
Brennaman added, “Gracie spent the majority of her remaining days on the frigid porch.” “I believe part of it brought her relief, but in truth, she was bidding farewell to her territory and all of her neighbors.”
And, sure enough, Baby Grey was there.
“Baby Grey came to see her numerous times in her final days, and the two just laid there to be with one other, while there was no tomato eating,” she continued. “They had that type of connection where they didn’t need to say or do anything. “All they wanted to do was be with each other.”
Gracie died in November 2017, less than a month after receiving her cancer diagnosis. While the death of the tiny dog was difficult for everyone, Baby Grey appears to be coping with her sadness by keeping a particular type of vigil for her pal.
That, or she simply refuses to accept the small puppy has vanished.
“Since Gracie’s death, Baby Grey has came to our porch many times a week,” Brennaman said. “She’ll walk straight up to the door and check for Gracie.” I’m not sure how long she waits, but she occasionally waits 20 minutes and then walks away to the porch, where she sits for a bit before laying down and sunbathing.”